Football history was made when for the first time in FIFA World Cup tournament, the much anticipated Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was put to use in determining a penalty decision in the Group C game between France and Australia.
France forward Antoine Griezmann was fouled by Australian defender Josh Ridson just inside the 18-yard box and went down. Referee Cunha initially did not award the penalty but went to consult the VAR and came back to point at the penalty spot. Griezmann confidently converted it to put France ahead.
But things turned around pretty sharply about two minutes later when defender Umtiti handled the ball in the Les Bleu 18-yard box and Australian captain Jedinak buried it such by the 62nd minute of play, it was France 1 – 1 Australia and game on.
However, Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba put the French side ahead with a volley that beat the Australian keeper and hit the crossbar before bouncing just inside of the line and again, the VAR indicated it was a goal. The game ended 2-1 in France’s favour.
The debate on the suitability of Video Assistant Referee was put to rest when FIFA decided on its use after a vote in March this year.